Maine Women's Fund Awards $90,000 for Economic Security of Maine

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Maine Women's Fund Awards $90,000 for Economic Security of Maine

PORTLAND, Maine. April 7, 2014—The Maine Women’s Fund, the only Maine foundation focused exclusively on advancing women’s and girl’s economic security, has awarded grants totaling $90,000 to organizations working to build economic security for Maine women and girls. The 2014 grantees will be recognized at the Maine Women’s Fund annual Leadership Luncheon on May 21, 2014 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

In a noteworthy new dimension of its grantmaking, each grantee will participate in group technical assistance workshops to increase statewide capacity for positive social change for Maine women and girls. The Maine Women’s Policy Center (MWPC), supported by a grant from a donor-advised fund at the Maine Women’s Fund, will lead the pilot project beginning in the summer of 2014. The project will allow grantee organizations to work together with the MWPC to explore and address the root causes of economic insecurity seen in their work with Maine women and girls. This is the inaugural grant from a donor-advised fund for the Maine Women’s Fund.

“In addition to watching the amazing work each of the grantee organizations does on its own, I can’t wait to see what can be accomplished when nonprofits work together for social change that advances economic security for women and girls in Maine,” said Maine Women’s Fund Grants Coordinator Kimberly Crichton.

“It’s very exciting to be part of the Maine Women’s Fund directly funding social change,” said Fund board member Marilyn Bronzi.

This grant cycle also marks the establishment of the Karen Moran Leadership Fund for Women and Girls, created to honor the memory of Yarmouth resident Karen Moran, who died in November. Friends and family established the endowed fund dedicated to reflecting Ms. Moran’s commitment to strengthening leadership capacity, which will help to ensure that women and girls of all races and classes have access to opportunities to reach their full potential. The first grant is awarded to Waterville-based nonprofit, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, to focus on leadership opportunities for girls in Maine.

“It warms my heart to imagine the contribution that Karen’s fund can make to girls and women for years to come. Karen would be so thrilled to know the first award went to Hardy Girls Healthy Women because of her fondness for the organization,” said Dick Hallstein, Ms. Moran’s husband.

In addition to the grant to the Maine Women’s Policy Center, the Maine Women’s Fund 2014-15 Economic Security Initiative grants are:

Community Dental Center in Waterville will provide oral health care treatment and education for women in the Somerset Domestic Violence Project and low-income, adult women receiving MaineCare.

Family Crisis Services will facilitate discussion groups at Deering, Portland, and South Portland High Schools on preventing and ending violence against women and girls. Participants will include many English Language Learners and first-generation Americans.

Four Directions Development Corporation, a Native American community development financial institution, will offer Wabanaki women tax preparation, credit and budget counseling, and home buying education, including a home maintenance class. It will also provide women loans to help move families from crisis to stability.

Girls on the Run will maintain and expand its programs giving girls in Cumberland, Kennebec, Sagadahoc and York the chance to participate in leadership building and running opportunities as well as a community engagement impact project.

Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s leadership development programming gives girls the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and a platform to drive social change and transform the cultural landscape in order to support their economic security and cultivate a healthier world for all.

Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) will offer legal services and advocacy to help women immigrants obtain legal status, increasing their chances of avoiding and/or surviving domestic violence and human trafficking and improving their economic security.

Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA) will increase resources for sex trafficking victims and providers in Maine by establishing a support fund, a volunteer bank, an online database of resources, and awareness raising tools, and staffing a statewide work group.

Neighborhood Housing League will provide training to women on tenant rights and responsibilities; documenting code complaints; tenant organizing, advocacy and empowerment; bed bug eradication and housing safety, as well as offering monthly tenant meetings in Lewiston.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will conduct grassroots organizing, movement building, and community engagement around policy priorities, especially the Women’s Health Initiative – a Medicaid benefit expansion that would provide life-saving cancer screenings and access to birth control for low-income women, as well as educating the uninsured about affordable health insurance options.

Wayfinder Schools will continue to offer their Passages Program, an at-home high school educational program with its own practical skill building curriculum for pregnant and parenting teens in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, Cumberland, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Washington counties.

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About the Maine Women’s Fund

Since 1989, the Maine Women's Fund has been creating social change by investing in the power of women and the dreams of girls. The Fund has awarded 358 grants totaling $1.8M to 180 organizations. The mission of the Maine Women’s Fund is to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grantmaking, community engagement and support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change. The Fund’s vision is a just and caring society in which Maine women and girls thrive so communities prosper. The Fund is the only Maine foundation focused exclusively on advancing women’s and girl’s economic security.

The Fund provides critical funding and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations in Maine within six strategic areas: Education; Entrepreneurship; Healthcare; Leadership; Personal Safety and Public Policy.

Posted 04.07.2014 under Press Releases